by Sativa Castellucci, La Paz County Probation
We’ve talked a lot about dads — absentee dads, dads who are too strict or not strict enough, and even about abusive dads.
Father’s Day just passed, and I’d like to talk about the dads who stick around. The fathers who take their share of the sleepless nights. Those who change diapers without being asked. Fathers who push the stroller and the swings, who stick bandages on skinned knees and who applaud both the kindergarten sing-alongs and the high school drama productions. All you dads who’ve thrown your arm around the shoulder of the new graduate: both of you grinning with pride.
Thanks to all of you! You are giving your children a priceless gift.
By being present — holding out love and support, establishing and maintaining rules and boundaries — you are modeling a vital part of healthy adulthood. You are giving your sons a pattern they can follow; You are showing your daughters what a healthy relationship looks like.
But for some children, their fathers are not present — a mom might be serving as both mother and father, or there may be abuse and neglect in their homes and so they’ve been removed and placed into the foster care system. For these children, having an advocate to make sure they don’t get lost in the social service system or languish in inappropriate foster homes is so important.
Please visit casaforchildren.org. CASA for Children provides trained, compassionate Court Appointed Special Advocates who speak for abused and neglected children as they navigate the complexities of the child welfare system.
CASA for Children needs more volunteers — especially men. The children in the foster care system need someone who will keep showing up, someone who will stick by them and advocate for them until their case is settled — until the child is safe in the embrace of a loving family.
It takes 30 hours of training to become a CASA volunteer. Once you’re sworn in as an officer of the court, you’ll be assigned a case. You’ll be the voice of a child, in the courtroom and in the community. From the stories we hear, being a CASA volunteer is one of the most rewarding things our volunteers have ever done.
So as a Father, I challenge you guys: are you man enough to become a CASA volunteer? We hope you’ll say, “Yes.”
Please contact Sativa Castellucci at (928) 669-6188, extension 237 at the La Paz County Office or click azcourts.gov to get more information.